Top 10 Things to NOT Say to Working Family Caregivers

Working professionals who have intergenerational responsibilities, (aka- the pull of sandwich generation child and elder care) would love if friends and colleagues understood how some comments sound, well, pardon me for saying— insensitive.

So, this is for you – Employers, Managers and well intentioned colleagues. I thought you might find it helpful to have generalized insight to some of the common ventings I hear in workshops and one on one:

10. “You need to take better care of yourself.”

9.  “You know what you should do?”

8.  “Why don’t you just get some help?”

7.  “Isn’t it better (implied- easier) now that he/she is in the nursing home?”

6.  “You’re so lucky to have a flexible schedule, I would love all that time off.”

5.  “You look tired.”

4.  “Why are you always running late?”

3.  “Why so stressed? You’ve got the extra help a few hours a week.”

2.  “Just let me know how I can help.” (said in passing)

1.  “We’re all just as busy!”


As always, if you have thoughts about any topic in my blog, or what it’s like to navigate the modern day workplace, managing family caregiving employees, or managing a career while taking care of a sick or aging parent, I would love to hear from you. Leave a comment, or email me privately at

Sarabeth Persiani

Sarahbeth Persiani is the author of Run, Walk, Crawl- A Caregiver Caught Between Generations. For five years, Sarahbeth was the primary caregiver for her Father, who had dementia, while working full-time and taking care of her own family. As the founder of We Are Sharing the Sun, her focus these days is to help companies create a supportive culture for family caregivers and provide education, support and encouragement for working professionals who are themselves in the sandwich squeeze.